The Wednesday headline in our local newspaper, the Echo Press, proclaimed, “Lake Carlos State Park to Remain Open During Special Deer Hunt.”
If that isn’t an out-and-out challenge, I don’t know what is.
It almost dares me to go hiking in Carlos State Park this weekend. Something about that headline just calls to me as I wallow in my retired, humdrum, mediocre life. It isn’t very often that I have an opportunity to do something that edgy, that life-threatening, that dad-gum dangerous within just a few miles of my house.
The newspaper story means that we hikers are free to roam throughout the park trails during the four days (November 7-11) that deer hunters will also be prowling to thin out the park's deer herd. The difference is, they will be armed and we will not. (Just like the movie, Human Prey.)
While the difference in armament sounds unfair, park officials tell those of us who still feel a need to hike in the park that we can even out the playing field: “Visitors should be aware of the special hunt and wear blaze orange or brightly colored clothing if they plan to recreate within the park.”
Yea, that really evens it out. Of course, it assumes that all deer hunters look before they shoot, are not color blind, don’t pull the trigger every time they see movement in the woods . . . and did not have a Bud Lite for breakfast.
But in my never-ending quest for danger, I’m planning to take a walk in the park this afternoon. Even though the hunt doesn’t start until tomorrow and technically I should be able to wear my civilian clothing one more day, I decided to dress on the cautious side.
My closet, however, is a dismal mishmash of black or gray clothing, with merry little splashes of mud brown and camouflage olive green.
Since I am too cheap to actually go buy anything blaze orange or glow-in-the-dark red, I scoured my entire house looking for the right colors. I discovered that not only is my wardrobe drab, my entire house is drab. I found only one blaze orange object and one wearable red object in the entire 1,490 square feet of my house. Using every ounce of my Norwegian ingenuity, I came up with this hiking outfit:
Wish me luck as I take what may prove to be my final 2-to-4-mile walk on the highway to the danger zone. (I mentally picture myself as Maverick and sing of Top Gun songs to give myself courage.)
I know what you’re thinking:
“Isn’t she brave?”
“I wish I had her courage.”
“That guy from Into the Wild has nothing on her.”
But be honest. Does the red hat make my head look fat?